Minus a complex marketing strategy, plans to dominate social media and pressure to build a massive email list, what’s another “make it or break it” factor of a successful online business?
If you said “great design,” you’re right. But it’s not quite what you think.
The truth is, you don’t need any of that to have a great design.
When I was 14 years old, I created a “framework” of what great design should consist of. Through that framework (and a few years of hard work), I created two successful online businesses founded on the basis of great design.
Today, at the age of 19, I want to teach you how to use this framework to help improve your online business as well.
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How Oreos, Filthy Dishes and One Good Design Helped Skyrocket My Young Online Business Career
My name is Alex Mangini. I founded Kolakube on the eve of 2011 and have been designing since I was 13 years old.
My roots in entrepreneurship began when I was in Kindergarden. The first product I ever sold was Oreo cookies my mom packed in my lunch box every day.
I didn’t realize it then, but I was learning valuable lessons about marketing, working with others, and what it’s like to get in trouble for selling cookies in the school cafeteria.
Fast forward a few years, and you would have found me washing filthy dishes at my dad’s seafood restaurant in Florida. By this time, I was designing online forums and blogs as a hobby, not interested in making money from it.
Why? Well, I enjoyed this job at first. The way I was raised, I was told that I would find a low quality job, graduate high school, go to college and find the career of my dreams. I was happy that I was getting into that “system” so young.
The more and more I designed, however, the more and more I started to hate this job. It was a nightmare, and I had to get out and pursue that little hobby of mine.
Standing behind that dishwasher for a month made me realize that the “system” we all grow up wanting to live for is horrible, and that the only way I’d ever be happy is if I got out now.
So like any 14 year old, I went back home to New Jersey and spent every penny I had on an iMac.
How My First Online Business Succeeded
With Great Design
Only a few months later, I had launched my first business. By this time, I knew that if I was going to make it online, it would be through my design skills.
By the age of 15, that business was doing a low 3-figures a month.
At 16, it jumped to a high 4-figure a month income.
Then, at 17, I sold that business for a nice 5-figure price.
I wrote popular articles on good design, helped dozens of people set up their websites, and started making my own WordPress themes.
My businesses have all succeeded by connecting the reader and the design. From efficient code to great looks, I want to help you create a design that pushes your business over the edge.
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What People Are Saying About Alex and Kolakube
People who have been designing themes for several years and have significant resources at their disposal haven’t been able to do what you have done. You have a very bright future ahead of you, Alex. I am looking forward to seeing (and buying) more of your work.
— Will Franco, Jive Systems
I’ve received so much incredible feedback on my site and MD2, Alex. I work with global enterprise software companies and I had a marketing executive ask me who designed my incredible new website! I can’t wait to see what you do next.
— Ruth Zive, Ruth Zive Copywriting
The Kolakube community is amazing, the skins are BOMB, Alex is the man… if you want a blog that will shine, and I mean SHINE from the crowd, be a part of this community, get his work. Period.
— Brandon Figureoa, The Last 3 Reps
I love that you have stayed true to who you are and what your strengths offer. You keep delivering and I am always impressed.
— Seth Waite, Rockfish
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My Timeline as a Young Entrepreneur
The more things I accomplish in business and in life, the more I get inspired to do even more. To give you an idea of how my career started, and to help you understand that you can do what you love, I documented my major accomplishments in the timeline below.